Chapter 4 – Cloister Bell
In the TARDIS (Travelling through the Vortex)
After the Doctor, and his companions (with the help of UNIT and Torchwood), had defeated the Drahvins, the Doctor, as usual, didn’t stay around to mop up in the aftermath of the invasion. He and his companions had hurried back to the TARDIS and left the Azores.
The Doctor knew that the TARDIS would go off course again, so he had set a random course. He had charged out of the console room into the corridors, leaving his companions. Daniel glanced at the indicators. From what he understood, the TARDIS was again going off course from the random trajectory that the Doctor had set. “I wonder where we are going now?” he wondered. He then saw Jia'hale heading off into the corridors also.
“I will be in the bathroom if you need me,” she said, as she ran off. She wanted to strip off her clothes and relax.
“Of course she would be,” Daniel said.
“She had a very rough time of it this time Daniel!” Sabrina said, then thought, ‘I would too if I had fought those Amazons.’
“I suppose so,” Daniel said, then left the console room.
“I have had a difficult time also,” Felicia said.
“All of us have had a difficult time,” Sabrina said. She pondered. It wasn’t just today either. It has been a busy week, or two.
“Definitely,” Sigrun said.
Felicia left the console room after Jia'hale.
“What do you think that the TARDIS was trying to tell Felicia when we arrived in the Azores?” Sigrun asked.
“No idea, it could be anything, but whatever it is it would be private,” Sabrina replied.
“I agree,” Daniel said. Being a private person himself, he didn't like it when Sigrun pried into others affairs. Not that she did that all too often, just mostly after rather dangerous adventures...
“It could turn out to be important,” Sigrun said indignantly ‘If the TARDIS told me something, I would tell the others, especially the Doctor.’
“It possibly could be, but then it would be the Doctor's business, not ours,” Daniel said.
“I suppose so,” Sigrun said.
Felicia had gone to the library. She was looking for records of the Doctor's earlier adventures that had been recorded by historians. She was certain that he would have collected some of that information. She decided to start with an encyclopaedia.
Jia'hale was now relaxing in the bathroom. ‘This is what I like after a day of chasing after Drahvins, and Terileptils,' she thought. She began to think about what she would do when she managed to get back home. Maybe she would finally tell her family about her travels in the TARDIS...
The Doctor was deep in the TARDIS. He was replacing the storage device with the Time Lord AI's back where it had come from. He hoped that he would never need to use it again, yet he knew that something would eventually happen that would require him to use it again...
In the console room, Sigrun and Daniel were still arguing about whether they needed to know what the TARDIS was trying to tell Felicia.
“I don’t think we do need to know, Sigrun.” Daniel said.
Sabrina was trying not to pay attention to their argument whilst watching the console instrumentation. She noticed that the TARDIS was indeed going off course. Could there be a pattern to the changes...
She noticed that the TARDIS was now heading away from Earth, towards The Library, which she knew wasn’t right. As much as she liked the largest Library in the Universe, and enjoyed talking to CAL, Sabrina didn't want to think about what might be wrong there now...
“...If we don't know, we might get killed or something,” Sigrun said.
“Or the reverse may happen...” Daniel said.
“Possibly, but it’s better to know!”
Daniel rolled his eyes.
Felicia was reading an encyclopedia article...
Reports of this figure are often contradictory, with different faces and companions being reported. One consistant aspect, however, is the presence of a strange blue box being reported at most locations where the Doctor has been spotted.
What else is consistent, is that the Doctor is most often accompanied by a young female travelling companion, even though it is often a different person (or persons) each time.
‘Well that’s obvious,’ Felicia thought.
“This is strange,” Sabrina said.
“What is?” Sigrun asked after Daniel had left the room in a huff. She knew that she would win the arguement.
“The TARDIS is going beserk, usually the course changes are slight, but it is going all over the Milky Way!” Sabrina exclaimed.
“I suppose that there must be a reason?” Sigrun pondered. “There has to be! The TARDIS can’t be doing it just for fun!”
“Your guess is as good as mine, first it was headed to The Library, then to Iapetus, then back to Earth, in orbit early in 2005, and now it is headed to somewhere called the Medusa Cascade,” Sabrina reported.
That got Sigrun's attention. Something was certainly up. “Any information on what that is supposed to be?” she asked.
“None, I can't get anything on it. It’s either in a restricted data storage area, or it the TARDIS hasn't got any information on it.”
“It’s most likely the former,” Sigrun suggested.
“I guess so.”
Felicia was still in the TARDIS library, there was information about the Doctor's past activities, but it was scarce. “Lets see, I think Shakespeare met the Doctor at some point,”
She mused as she entered the aisle with information on the famous playwright.
The Doctor had placed the storage device back where it was, and was now heading back to the console room. He had to figure out why the TARDIS wanted to go off course.
He had been thinking about it almost from the time when it started, but he couldn’t come to a conclusion that satisfied his curiosity.
“It is changing again,” Sabrina said.
“Where we going now?” Sigrun asked. She was sick of the apparently random changes. She knew that some of the destinations didn’t make sense.
“Somewhere called the Pharos Project,” Sabrina said.
“Better than Androzani Minor, anyway.” That was Daniel who had reentered the console room after a spell of boredom.
“How would you know that?” Sigrun asked.
“The Doctor, Sabrina, Felicia and I went there some time, prior to meeting Jia’hale,” Daniel said.
“Okay, how did you find the place?” Sigrun asked, thinking about the planet’s interesting name.
“It was very dull,” Daniel said, as he left the console room again.
“Okay,” Sigrun said.
The Doctor was approaching the console room. He could hear the companions there discussing the course changes.
“The TARDIS is now heading to Antarctica in 1986
,” Sabrina said.
The Doctor hurried into the console room. His curiosity had been piqued when he had heard what the destination was. He thought that it may not have been a coincidence that the TARDIS was going there.
“Where has the TARDIS been heading?” the Doctor asked.
“She has been heading randomly all over the Milky Way,” Sabrina said.
“Sabrina has written down all the destinations. She thinks that the pattern may mean something,” Sigrun said, handing over the list which Sabrina had written to the Doctor.
He read the list:
Fields of Trenzalore
Earth Orbit, 1 January 2005
The Medusa Cascade
Earth Orbit, 10000
A grave expression came over his face.
“What is the matter?” Sabrina asked.
“This is not a random list of destinations. These are the times and places where I regenerated. All of them,” the Doctor said. ‘What could this mean? What is she trying to tell me?’ he thought. He wasn’t sure what message the TARDIS was trying to communicate by setting courses to those destinations.
“In order?” Sabrina asked.
“In reverse order,” the Doctor said.
“What could that mean?” Sabrina asked. ‘Why would the TARDIS set a course to those places?’ she thought.
“Doctor! Sabrina! The TARDIS has changed course again,” Sigrun said. The Doctor went to the console.
“Strange, I thought it would attempt to go to Gallifrey,” the Doctor said, certain that the next destination would be his initiation at the Untempered Schism.
Sabrina also looked at the console. “Intercept course plotted? What does that mean?” she asked. She couldn’t think of anything that the TARDIS could possibly be intercepting in the vortex. Absolutely nothing.
“I have no idea,” the Doctor said. Then the Cloister Bell began to toll!
“Is it intercepting something dangerous, Doctor?” Sabrina asked.
“That is a possibility. There may be something out there that it was warning Elisa about. Though why her and not me, I am not sure,” the Doctor said.
“Are you sure that the TARDIS was warning her about something?” Sigrun asked.
“Yes,” the Doctor said.
“What is going wrong now?” Felicia asked when she heard the Cloister Bell.
She left the library and ran towards the console room. ‘Is this what the TARDIS was warning me about prior to the Drahvins?’ she thought.
After a moment of reflection she realised that it wasn’t,
because it didn’t feel like whatever the TARDIS was warning her about. What could it be?
The Doctor was pacing the console room, trying to think. An alarm sounded from the console.
“Doctor!” Sabrina said, in agitation. The Doctor leapt over to the console, wondering what it was that agitated Sabrina so.
“Anomaly detected in Corridor 11-A. That can’t be right!” he said. He couldn’t think of any occurrence when an anomaly had been detected within the TARDIS corridors...
“Doctor, according to the current Architectural Configuration, that location is between here and the library,” Sabrina said.
“Elisa!” the Doctor realised. “Sigrid, stay here and watch the console. Sabie, come with me,” he continued.
Daniel had heard the Cloister Bell from his room, which was close to the console room. “What is going on now?” he asked no one in particular. He knew that something was happening. ‘The TARDIS in danger? For a vessel that was built by one of the most advanced civilisations in the universe, it sure gets in danger a lot,’ he mused. He wondered what the danger was going to be.
He ran out of the room.
Jia’hale leapt out of the bath as she heard the Cloister Bell ring. ‘The TARDIS is in danger!’ she thought. She ran out of the bathroom, not even bothering to wipe herself off, or to put anything on for that matter...
She knew that there was no time, absolutely no time. Every second may be of the essence... She turned a corner towards the console room.
Felicia ran out of the library and into a corridor. Then she noticed the Anomaly!
It was a large swirling mass that took up most of the space of a ‘courtyard’ at the intersection of two corridors. She could see beyond it, but she knew that it blocked her path.
“That is not good!” she said. She started crying out for the Doctor.
The Doctor and Sabrina heard Felicia’s cries of “Doctor! Doctor!
“This way!” the Doctor said. They rounded a corner, almost crashing into Daniel as he entered the corridor from a different direction. They then saw the Anomaly and Felicia, who was frightened out of her wits, behind it.
Felicia saw the Doctor, Sabrina and Daniel enter the corridor on the other side. Suddenly a wind picked up and began pushing her towards the Anomaly! She screamed at the top of her lungs.
Upon hearing Felicia’s screams Jia’hale bounded onto the scene, almost crashing into Daniel.
“Jia’hale! This is not the time for your exhibitionism!” he said. She looked totally ridiculous, and definitely distracting.
“This is exactly the time!” she retorted, even though she thought of herself as a naturist, rather than an exhibitionist. Felicia screamed again.
“That is enough you two!” the Doctor said, his eyes on the Anomaly, and Felicia. He got out the sonic screwdriver and pointed it at the Anomaly. But there was no information forthcoming...
Felicia had grabbed a hold of a roundel, but she was loosing her grip! She struggled to keep that hold, but lost it causing her to fall into the Anomaly. She had no idea where she would end up.
“ELISA!” the Doctor screamed. He tried to run forwards, but Sabrina and Jia’hale held him back.
“Doctor!” Sabrina said as she and Jia’hale grabbed him.
The Doctor’s mind was flooded with questions: Where does it lead? What has happened to her? Why is this happening?
Felicia screamed as she fell into the Anomaly, disappearing in an instant.
The Anomaly then rapidly vanished, and the Cloister Bell stopped tolling.
“What now? She is gone!” Sabrina said. ‘How can we get her back?’ she wondered in alarm.
“I have no idea,” the Doctor said. They then heard Sigrun running towards them. She soon came up to them.
“Doctor, Doctor! Shortly before the Cloister Bell stopped ringing the TARDIS detected another TARDIS very close by. I know that it’s impossible, but it did,” she said.
“What happened?” Daniel asked.
“Of course! Thankyou Sigrid. Elisa is not lost. I know where to find her,” the Doctor said. He immediately set off back towards the console room.
“What does that mean?” Jia’hale asked.
“I am not leaping to conclusions!” Sabrina said. ‘Best not to worry over speculations,’ she thought.
“Let’s find out,” Sigrun said.
“Sure,” Sabrina said.
“I hope we do!” Jia’hale said. She followed her fellow companions as she brushed off the water remaining on her person.